The UK was scheduled to leave the EU on the 31st October, but an extension has now been agreed. The UK will therefore remain in the EU in the short term, and if a withdrawal agreement is concluded between the UK and the EU, it is likely that EU law will continue to apply until the end of 2020 at the earliest.
Although the UK Government reached agreement with the EU over its withdrawal from the EU, it has not yet been able to pass the withdrawal agreement through the UK Parliament. The British Prime Minister was therefore obliged to request a further extension to the Brexit process from the EU. The EU agreed to the Prime Minister’s request and extended the departure deadline until up to 31st January 2020.
There will be an early general election in the UK on 12th December, after which we will probably have further clarity regarding the Brexit process.
Implications for Intellectual Property
The European Patent Office (EPO) is not an EU institution, so Brexit will have no effect on the current patent system. Regardless of the outcome of the Brexit process, patent applications filed by Carpmaels & Ransford at the EPO will still cover the UK (via conventional national validation), and they will be litigated in the UK national courts as usual. The European Patent Convention will continue to be part of UK law, and our European patent attorneys will continue to act in the usual way in all matters before the EPO.
However, EU Trade Marks and Community Designs are administered through the EUIPO, which is an EU institution. As a result, EU Trade Marks and Community Designs will be affected by Brexit. Further information can be found on our Brexit website pages. These provide further guidance on the position of intellectual property post-Brexit. However, as a European IP firm, we are set up to continue to represent our clients in all of their European IP matters regardless of the outcome of Brexit. You will continue to receive the high levels of service and client care which you have come to expect.
Further resources can be found on the Brexit pages of our website.